What breed should I get ?

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Hello
Im looking to get a rabbit soon .Iv never owned a rabbit before and im super excited to get one almost have everything ready I did so much research but I don't know what breed to get . What's a good beginner breed I can't have a breed to big and I don't want a breed to small either
Thanxs micaela :)
 

DogCatMom

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Ask yourself questions like:

--Do I want a rabbit with straight ears (up) or lop ears (down)?
--Do I want a rabbit with short, medium, or a long coat?
--Do I want a dwarf, small, medium, large, or giant rabbit? (each of these has a definite meaning with regard to the adult weight of the rabbit)
--Do I want/need a purebred rabbit, or will a mix be more interesting?
--If at all possible, get to meet rabbits in person ahead of time. Rabbit rescue organizations will be thrilled for their rabbits to have a friendly visitor! Rabbits vary in their personalities; that's why visiting them is important.
--All rabbits need space. They can't just stay cooped up in a 12"x18" cage and be healthy.
--To see what the 48 breeds recognized in the United States by the American Rabbit Breeders Assn. (http://arba.net) look like, visit their site and have a look.

Good luck! Your bunny is waiting! :)
 

PolishRabbitmama

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I love my daughter's Polish! Just a thought! But they are small only about 2 1/2-3 lbs total. But they are the sweetest buns! IMO
 

Sindri27

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Hi I would go to a rabbit rescue if you have one close by and visit with the rabbits there. Then you get an idea of size and personality. A plus about that also is most are usually spayed or neutered as well which is a cost to figure in when getting a rabbit.
 

RabbitGirl101

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I would suggest holland lops, Havana or mini rex. They are small and they all are usually known to be more docile breeds. They are easier to find as they are more popular, if you got to www.arba.net you can find lots of great information and you can see all of the different kinds of rabbit breeds there are :)

You can also probably find a breeder or shelter that is close to you that you can ask questions and about the care:) Thiw website is awesome when it comes to rabbit information! http://www.barbibrownsbunnies.com/
 
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zombiesue

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If size is important to you, I'd focus on adult rabbits. imho mini rex and holland lops are on the smaller end (it kind of depends on who you ask lol) but you can get one that's a pretty decent size--all depending on what you're looking for exactly, and it can be hard to tell when they're babies and there's just so many bad breeders out there that if you're a first timer I wouldn't trust anyone that you didn't know or meet like, here, lol. So that kind of leaves shelters.
 

RabbitGirl101

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If size is important to you, I'd focus on adult rabbits. imho mini rex and holland lops are on the smaller end (it kind of depends on who you ask lol) but you can get one that's a pretty decent size--all depending on what you're looking for exactly, and it can be hard to tell when they're babies and there's just so many bad breeders out there that if you're a first timer I wouldn't trust anyone that you didn't know or meet like, here, lol. So that kind of leaves shelters.

I'm not denying that there are bad breeders but it is not hard to find good breeders. You would be surprised to see the overwhelming amount of good breeders out their. You can find breeders listings under different clubs registered with ARBA. Breeders are very trustworthy and nice people:)

My first rabbit came from a breeder and she helped me out a ton!
 

zombiesue

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I probably wouldn't be, I know there's lots of great breeders, but if you don't know what a healthy rabbit looks like you might not know whether you found a good one or got unlucky.
 

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If you can expose yourself to as many rabbits as possible. A shelter or breed show should do the trick. I had zero desire for a pet, nor cared about animals all that much until one day my wife dragged me to a pet store (she loves pets) and there I saw quite a few rabbits but only one caught my utter fascination. It was monstrous in size. Looking back I think it was a Continental, but my research led me to look into Flemish and that was all she wrote. A helpful breeder helped me realize my dream and now Im the loving keeper of two of these beautiful rabbits.
 
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Thanks everyone . Unfortunately there are no rescues near me that have rabbit so the breeds are my only option . What about a mini lop how big do they get ? :)
 

Imbrium

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I would suggest holland lops, Havana or mini rex. They are small and they all are usually known to be more docile breeds. They are easier to find as they are more popular, if you got to www.arba.net you can find lots of great information and you can see all of the different kinds of rabbit breeds there are :)

You can also probably find a breeder or shelter that is close to you that you can ask questions and about the care:) Thiw website is awesome when it comes to rabbit information! http://www.barbibrownsbunnies.com/

Thanks everyone . Unfortunately there are no rescues near me that have rabbit so the breeds are my only option . What about a mini lop how big do they get ? :)

Couple things... what are you considering to be "near" you? I always strongly recommend getting a shelter bunny. I've got nothing against breeders (and actually got my two girls from a breeder due to a lack of shelters in the area) - it's simply that a shelter bunny will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Female rabbits NEED to be spayed for health reasons (unless they're part of a breeding program, obviously) - an unspayed bunny has *half* the lifespan of a spayed one because of how prone they are to cancers of the reproductive system. While neutering also lowers reproductive cancer risks in males, those risks are very low to begin with so it's not an absolute must... however, an unneutered male can be really unpleasant to have around (in particular, because most spray... and they can spray urine 6+ feet in the air, plus some of them like to aim for faces!).

Neuters are less expensive than spays, but neither is particularly cheap (and finding a very experienced vet is crucial due to the risky nature of putting a bunny under anesthesia and, with spays, also due to the difficulty level of the surgery). I payed around $450 for two spay surgeries plus take-home pain meds (and $30 each for the bunnies at the breeder). Shelter bunnies are more likely to be in the $60-100 range but will already be spayed/neutered. In retrospect, I could've saved myself over $300 if I hadn't been too impatient/impulsive to drive up to Austin (45 minutes away) where they have bunny shelters. On the plus side, my girls are such adorable little naughties that I could never bring myself to regret "wasting" money by not going the shelter route - my boyfriend and I both feel like those specific bunnies were meant to find me (and later, to find him vicariously) :p.

I recommend shopping around for a really qualified exotics vet who does bunny spays/neuters and getting a price quote from them for each gender. If you're ok with knowing you'll face that expense later, then go for a breeder... if you'd rather not spend that money if you can avoid it, then it might be worth driving an hour or more away to get to a bunny shelter. If you do go with a breeder, knowing the spay and neuter costs ahead of time will let you make an educated decision regarding whether you can look at bunnies of both genders or you need to limit your search to males.

If you do go through a breeder, I urge you to be picky about who you buy from - please don't support an irresponsible backyard breeder! There's a lot of them out there, but there are also a LOT of reputable breeders who breed to "improve" the breeds (which means they strive to produce rabbits as close to the breed standards as possible while also placing a very strong emphasis on breeding for *healthy* rabbits without genetic issues)... as opposed to some clueless person who's breeding because they "want cute babies" or think breeding (pet) rabbits is profitable (which it really isn't if you're doing it right and providing proper care). As others have mentioned, rabbit shows are a great place to find the kinds of breeders worth buying from.

The one other perk of adopting an adult bunny is that you don't have to go through the awful "teenage" phase where they get all hormonal prior to being fixed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rabbit_breeds gives a good general idea of how big (weight-wise) different breeds get... however, it tells you the breed standards (for show-quality rabbits), which can be misleading when it comes to dwarves. For example, Hollands are listed as weighing 2-3 lbs and lionheads as weighing 2.5–3.5 lbs. My lionhead weighs in at just under 3.5 lbs... but my Holland weighs 4 lbs 12 oz, which is in the "Mini lop" range (4-5 lbs). This does NOT mean I was misinformed about her breed and she's actually a Mini, though.

The dwarf gene is odd - it's dominant (meaning a rabbit only needs one copy to be the proper "dwarf" size for their breed)... but you can't breed dwarves in a way that results in 100% of the offspring having the dwarf gene because that would require both parents to carry two copies of the dwarf gene. If a rabbit has two copies of the gene (meaning no "normal" copy), then they're "peanuts" - a genetic defect that causes them to be incredibly tiny and is lethal (they typically die by the time they're a few weeks old).

That means that adult dwarf rabbits always only carry a single copy of the gene. When you cross two dwarf rabbits, they each have a 50% chance of passing the dwarf gene and a 50% chance of passing the normal gene - this gives their offspring a 25% chance of getting two dwarf genes (a lethal combo), a 50% chance of being dwarves and a 25% chance of getting two normal genes and NOT being dwarves. A "dwarf" breed rabbit without the dwarf gene is still the same breed (meaning my Holland is still a Holland) but is automatically unshowable.

Regarding Hollands...
Different breeds of the same animal can have different fur (and dander) types, making it possible to be irritated by or even allergic to the fur of some breeds but not others. For example, I inevitable regret it if I let certain types of short-haired cats get near my face but have no problems whatsoever with long-haired cats.

I've had my nose itch incessantly after grooming my Holland and getting her fur on my face and my boyfriend was having mild allergy-type symptoms whenever he so much as held her until he started taking a once-a-day OTC allergy pill so that he could appreciate what a cuddle-bunny she grew up to be. Neither one of us has EVER had any problems with my lionhead. Gaz (my Holland) also sheds explosively pretty much year round and her fur gets EVERYWHERE. I can dust and clean and in less than a week, the entire bunny room is coated with a layer of her fur again. Nala (my lionhead) rarely sheds outside of molts.

I'm not recommending against a Holland necessarily - I love my little loaf to death - but the nature of their fur type is definitely worth noting.
 
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Couple things... what are you considering to be "near" you? I always strongly recommend getting a shelter bunny. I've got nothing against breeders (and actually got my two girls from a breeder due to a lack of shelters in the area) - it's simply that a shelter bunny will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Female rabbits NEED to be spayed for health reasons (unless they're part of a breeding program, obviously) - an unspayed bunny has *half* the lifespan of a spayed one because of how prone they are to cancers of the reproductive system. While neutering also lowers reproductive cancer risks in males, those risks are very low to begin with so it's not an absolute must... however, an unneutered male can be really unpleasant to have around (in particular, because most spray... and they can spray urine 6+ feet in the air, plus some of them like to aim for faces!).

Neuters are less expensive than spays, but neither is particularly cheap (and finding a very experienced vet is crucial due to the risky nature of putting a bunny under anesthesia and, with spays, also due to the difficulty level of the surgery). I payed around $450 for two spay surgeries plus take-home pain meds (and $30 each for the bunnies at the breeder). Shelter bunnies are more likely to be in the $60-100 range but will already be spayed/neutered. In retrospect, I could've saved myself over $300 if I hadn't been too impatient/impulsive to drive up to Austin (45 minutes away) where they have bunny shelters. On the plus side, my girls are such adorable little naughties that I could never bring myself to regret "wasting" money by not going the shelter route - my boyfriend and I both feel like those specific bunnies were meant to find me (and later, to find him vicariously) :p.

I recommend shopping around for a really qualified exotics vet who does bunny spays/neuters and getting a price quote from them for each gender. If you're ok with knowing you'll face that expense later, then go for a breeder... if you'd rather not spend that money if you can avoid it, then it might be worth driving an hour or more away to get to a bunny shelter. If you do go with a breeder, knowing the spay and neuter costs ahead of time will let you make an educated decision regarding whether you can look at bunnies of both genders or you need to limit your search to males.

If you do go through a breeder, I urge you to be picky about who you buy from - please don't support an irresponsible backyard breeder! There's a lot of them out there, but there are also a LOT of reputable breeders who breed to "improve" the breeds (which means they strive to produce rabbits as close to the breed standards as possible while also placing a very strong emphasis on breeding for *healthy* rabbits without genetic issues)... as opposed to some clueless person who's breeding because they "want cute babies" or think breeding (pet) rabbits is profitable (which it really isn't if you're doing it right and providing proper care). As others have mentioned, rabbit shows are a great place to find the kinds of breeders worth buying from.

The one other perk of adopting an adult bunny is that you don't have to go through the awful "teenage" phase where they get all hormonal prior to being fixed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rabbit_breeds gives a good general idea of how big (weight-wise) different breeds get... however, it tells you the breed standards (for show-quality rabbits), which can be misleading when it comes to dwarves. For example, Hollands are listed as weighing 2-3 lbs and lionheads as weighing 2.5–3.5 lbs. My lionhead weighs in at just under 3.5 lbs... but my Holland weighs 4 lbs 12 oz, which is in the "Mini lop" range (4-5 lbs). This does NOT mean I was misinformed about her breed and she's actually a Mini, though.

The dwarf gene is odd - it's dominant (meaning a rabbit only needs one copy to be the proper "dwarf" size for their breed)... but you can't breed dwarves in a way that results in 100% of the offspring having the dwarf gene because that would require both parents to carry two copies of the dwarf gene. If a rabbit has two copies of the gene (meaning no "normal" copy), then they're "peanuts" - a genetic defect that causes them to be incredibly tiny and is lethal (they typically die by the time they're a few weeks old).

That means that adult dwarf rabbits always only carry a single copy of the gene. When you cross two dwarf rabbits, they each have a 50% chance of passing the dwarf gene and a 50% chance of passing the normal gene - this gives their offspring a 25% chance of getting two dwarf genes (a lethal combo), a 50% chance of being dwarves and a 25% chance of getting two normal genes and NOT being dwarves. A "dwarf" breed rabbit without the dwarf gene is still the same breed (meaning my Holland is still a Holland) but is automatically unshowable.

Regarding Hollands...
Different breeds of the same animal can have different fur (and dander) types, making it possible to be irritated by or even allergic to the fur of some breeds but not others. For example, I inevitable regret it if I let certain types of short-haired cats get near my face but have no problems whatsoever with long-haired cats.

I've had my nose itch incessantly after grooming my Holland and getting her fur on my face and my boyfriend was having mild allergy-type symptoms whenever he so much as held her until he started taking a once-a-day OTC allergy pill so that he could appreciate what a cuddle-bunny she grew up to be. Neither one of us has EVER had any problems with my lionhead. Gaz (my Holland) also sheds explosively pretty much year round and her fur gets EVERYWHERE. I can dust and clean and in less than a week, the entire bunny room is coated with a layer of her fur again. Nala (my lionhead) rarely sheds outside of molts.

I'm not recommending against a Holland necessarily - I love my little loaf to death - but the nature of their fur type is definitely worth noting.

Thank you so much ! I'm in no hurry to get a rabbit as I still have a few things to get for it ........ I think I will probably end up getting the rabbit in a shelter instead of getting it as a baby and having the expensive vet bill and teenage phase as I am a beginner in rabbit and would love to avoid all that :) still not to sure on the breed I have my mind on either a hollond lop , mini lop or a lion head :)
 

zombiesue

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I don't think it would be difficult to find those, they are all really popular.

For sizing of different breeds, you can look at this table from ARBA which lists maximum weight standards: https://www.arba.net/breeds.htm Obviously, some individuals can be heavier than that, but it's fine as a general guide.

lionhead is the only one I don't think they have on there yet--I think they run up to like 4 pounds. They're not very big lol.
 

RabbitGirl101

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Couple things... what are you considering to be "near" you? I always strongly recommend getting a shelter bunny. I've got nothing against breeders (and actually got my two girls from a breeder due to a lack of shelters in the area) - it's simply that a shelter bunny will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Female rabbits NEED to be spayed for health reasons (unless they're part of a breeding program, obviously) - an unspayed bunny has *half* the lifespan of a spayed one because of how prone they are to cancers of the reproductive system. While neutering also lowers reproductive cancer risks in males, those risks are very low to begin with so it's not an absolute must... however, an unneutered male can be really unpleasant to have around (in particular, because most spray... and they can spray urine 6+ feet in the air, plus some of them like to aim for faces!).

Neuters are less expensive than spays, but neither is particularly cheap (and finding a very experienced vet is crucial due to the risky nature of putting a bunny under anesthesia and, with spays, also due to the difficulty level of the surgery). I payed around $450 for two spay surgeries plus take-home pain meds (and $30 each for the bunnies at the breeder). Shelter bunnies are more likely to be in the $60-100 range but will already be spayed/neutered. In retrospect, I could've saved myself over $300 if I hadn't been too impatient/impulsive to drive up to Austin (45 minutes away) where they have bunny shelters. On the plus side, my girls are such adorable little naughties that I could never bring myself to regret "wasting" money by not going the shelter route - my boyfriend and I both feel like those specific bunnies were meant to find me (and later, to find him vicariously) :p.

I recommend shopping around for a really qualified exotics vet who does bunny spays/neuters and getting a price quote from them for each gender. If you're ok with knowing you'll face that expense later, then go for a breeder... if you'd rather not spend that money if you can avoid it, then it might be worth driving an hour or more away to get to a bunny shelter. If you do go with a breeder, knowing the spay and neuter costs ahead of time will let you make an educated decision regarding whether you can look at bunnies of both genders or you need to limit your search to males.

If you do go through a breeder, I urge you to be picky about who you buy from - please don't support an irresponsible backyard breeder! There's a lot of them out there, but there are also a LOT of reputable breeders who breed to "improve" the breeds (which means they strive to produce rabbits as close to the breed standards as possible while also placing a very strong emphasis on breeding for *healthy* rabbits without genetic issues)... as opposed to some clueless person who's breeding because they "want cute babies" or think breeding (pet) rabbits is profitable (which it really isn't if you're doing it right and providing proper care). As others have mentioned, rabbit shows are a great place to find the kinds of breeders worth buying from.

The one other perk of adopting an adult bunny is that you don't have to go through the awful "teenage" phase where they get all hormonal prior to being fixed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rabbit_breeds gives a good general idea of how big (weight-wise) different breeds get... however, it tells you the breed standards (for show-quality rabbits), which can be misleading when it comes to dwarves. For example, Hollands are listed as weighing 2-3 lbs and lionheads as weighing 2.5–3.5 lbs. My lionhead weighs in at just under 3.5 lbs... but my Holland weighs 4 lbs 12 oz, which is in the "Mini lop" range (4-5 lbs). This does NOT mean I was misinformed about her breed and she's actually a Mini, though.

The dwarf gene is odd - it's dominant (meaning a rabbit only needs one copy to be the proper "dwarf" size for their breed)... but you can't breed dwarves in a way that results in 100% of the offspring having the dwarf gene because that would require both parents to carry two copies of the dwarf gene. If a rabbit has two copies of the gene (meaning no "normal" copy), then they're "peanuts" - a genetic defect that causes them to be incredibly tiny and is lethal (they typically die by the time they're a few weeks old).

That means that adult dwarf rabbits always only carry a single copy of the gene. When you cross two dwarf rabbits, they each have a 50% chance of passing the dwarf gene and a 50% chance of passing the normal gene - this gives their offspring a 25% chance of getting two dwarf genes (a lethal combo), a 50% chance of being dwarves and a 25% chance of getting two normal genes and NOT being dwarves. A "dwarf" breed rabbit without the dwarf gene is still the same breed (meaning my Holland is still a Holland) but is automatically unshowable.

Regarding Hollands...
Different breeds of the same animal can have different fur (and dander) types, making it possible to be irritated by or even allergic to the fur of some breeds but not others. For example, I inevitable regret it if I let certain types of short-haired cats get near my face but have no problems whatsoever with long-haired cats.

I've had my nose itch incessantly after grooming my Holland and getting her fur on my face and my boyfriend was having mild allergy-type symptoms whenever he so much as held her until he started taking a once-a-day OTC allergy pill so that he could appreciate what a cuddle-bunny she grew up to be. Neither one of us has EVER had any problems with my lionhead. Gaz (my Holland) also sheds explosively pretty much year round and her fur gets EVERYWHERE. I can dust and clean and in less than a week, the entire bunny room is coated with a layer of her fur again. Nala (my lionhead) rarely sheds outside of molts.

I'm not recommending against a Holland necessarily - I love my little loaf to death - but the nature of their fur type is definitely worth noting.

You made really valid points, I'm as SO glad you pointed out not to support back yard breeders very important to stop their system of just the throwing two rabbits together:)

Same thing with spaying, unless your breeding them, the female should be spayed. Otherwise they most likely will get cancer. If you have just a pet this is a good option to do.

It may be just your Hollands but my lionheads seems to shed a lot more than my Hollands lol XD but overall I agree with you:)
 

Imbrium

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My lionhead can shed a lot at times, I suppose... but it seems to just collect in the corners of the condo/bunny pen instead of going airborne and spreading out like a plague of fur :p.

And yeah, I'm always quick to advocate against supporting backyard breeders - they give breeders a bad name and may not produce very healthy rabbits.

I'm actually a sugar glider breeder myself - there's a massive online database of pedigrees for them and breeding without lineage is a massive no-no because there's been so much inbreeding in gliders' past due to ALL gliders with a specific (ie non-standard gray) coloring originate from just 2-3 gliders or pairs that first had or produced that coloring - some people inbred extensively in an attempt to figure out how the genes for various colors were passed. Putting together a really good breeding pair is quite an undertaking!

Rabbit breeding surely differs in some ways from glider breeding simply because gliders are so exotic and new (they're not even considered domesticated yet), but it's still far more complicated than just throwing a boy and a girl together. I firmly believe that if you're going to support a breeder, it should be one who works hard to improve the breed(s) they work with.
 

pani

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I chose my Netherland dwarf because I knew I wanted a small bunny, since our house is quite small and he's an indoor little guy. My partner also suggested I get a smaller pet (as opposed to something cat/dog sized), so the smaller the better in my case! I actually wasn't entirely set on a particular breed until I met him for the first time, and knew I needed to take him home with me! I'm glad I got a dwarf for my own reasons, so definitely do your research and pick whichever one is best for you. :}

Good luck picking your new furry friend!
 

edwinf8936

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A Dutch is a nice breed. English Spots seem to be good.

This is just my experiences.
 

Sindri27

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If you go to a shelter you never know what kind of breed or mixed breed you will get. I would go more for the personality of the rabbit more so than say just what breed it is going to be. Sometimes like my experience with adopting a cat not a rabbit I had in my mind a certain kind of cat I wanted and I got a totally different kind of cat because he just stood out amongst all the others. The same with my first rabbit. I wanted a netherland dwarf that had an otter colored coat I came home with a wonderful outgoing chestnut blue eyed white nosed netherland dwarf rabbit possibly polish mix. He was and is the perfect first rabbit. I wish you luck on your first bunny! Please keep us updated on what you get.:goodluck
 

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